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Ecology and Ecosystems
M.S., M.P.S. & Ph.D.

The Ecology and Ecosystems area of study focuses on the structure, function, dynamics, and resilience of terrestrial ecosystems, at a range of scales, from tree genetics and plant physiology to landscape ecology, modeling and remote sensing. Because functioning and resilient ecosystems are central to human well-being, research opportunities in this area of study address a diversity of topics that help us better understand and enhance the sustainability of terrestrial ecosystems in a rapidly changing world.

Participating Faculty

  • Colin M. Beier; cbeier@esf.edu
    forest ecosystem and landscape ecology, social-ecological systems, climate change, ecosystem services, landscape change modeling, resilience, adaptive management, resource governance, applied geoinformatics
  • Eddie Bevilacqua; ebevilacqua@esf.edu
    sampling/inventory, biometrics, forest mensuration, growth and yield modeling, applied statistics, GIS/spatial analysis, forest ecology, landscape ecology, ecological modeling, tree-ring science, quantitative silviculture
  • Russell D. Briggs; rdbriggs@esf.edu
    forest ecology, watershed ecology, soils, ecosystem services, watershed management, forest soils, silviculture
  • René Germain; rhgermai@syr.edu
    forest health, policy, silviculture, forest management and operations, forest management for renewable energy, watershed management, sustainable forestry systems
  • Mariann T. Johnston; mjohnston@esf.edu
    forest ecology, soils, biogeochemistry, forest health, silviculture
  • Charles A. Maynard; cmaynard@syr.edu
    plant tissue culture, forest ecology, forest health, restoration ecology, silviculture, forest biotech and tree improvement, forest genetics
  • Christopher A. Nowak; canowak@esf.edu
    Vegetation Management, Silviculture and Forest Ecology, Production Ecology and Plant Ecophysiology, Invasive Exotic Plant Control, Biogeography and Cultural Landscapes, Sustainable Management and Certification Systems
  • Ralph D. Nyland; rnyland@syr.edu
    forest ecology, forest health, restoration ecology, silviculture, forest management and operations, quantitative silviculture, forest practice
  • John C. Stella; stella@esf.edu
    riparian and stream ecology, restoration ecology, watershed management, ecological modeling, tree-ring science, river restoration
  • Philippe G. Vidon; pgvidon@esf.edu
    Stream Restoration, Ecological Engineering, Riparian Zone and Watershed Management, Water Quality, Riparian Zone/Watershed Biogeochemistry and Hydrology, Best Management Practices, Surface and Subsurface Hydrology, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Mercury, Carbon Cycling, Greenhouse Gases (N2O, CO2, CH4).
  • Timothy A. Volk; tavolk@esf.edu
    silviculture, forest management for renewable energy, biomass and bioenergy, energy, agroforestry, phytoremediation, management and sustainability of short rotation woody crops, life cycle analysis, ecophysiology, international forestry

For details on doctoral and masters programs, download the Graduate Student Handbook for The Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management. Hard copies are available from the FNRM office.

Contact Us

René H. Germain
Professor
Graduate Education Coordinator - FNRM
316 Bray Hall, One Forestry Drive
Syracuse, NY 13210-2788
Phone: (315) 470-6698
Fax: (315) 470-6535

Current Students

Only currently registered students appear—new student names are added at the start of the academic year.

Brannon BarrBrannon Barr
bbarr@syr.edu

Ecology and Ecosystems

Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Yanai

Previous Graduate Study: University of North Texas (Environmental Science)

Personal Statement
I am interested in determinants of species distributions and abundances at the community and landscape scale, related species interactions such as colonization, competition, predation, and symbiosis, the evolution of life history characteristics, and how these phenomena are related to resource supply rates and nutrient fluxes.

Jesse CaputoJesse Caputo
jcaputo@syr.edu

Ecology and Ecosystems

Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Beier and Volk
Undergraduate Institute: University of Connecticut

Previous Graduate Study: University of Mass Amherst*

Personal Statement
Throughout history, forest ecosystems have provided human communities with a multitude of products, services, and values, including energy sources, structural materials, food, clean water, and important spiritual, cultural, and aesthetic values. My broad interests lie in understanding how the conservation and management of forestlands can continue to provide a diverse suite of goods and services, including both commodities and ecosystem services, as both the physical environment and human needs change and evolve over time.

Graduate Research Topic
The impacts of management practices, particularly those intended to produce biomass for energy production, on the provision of a broad suite of ecosystem services and forest commodities over time and space.

Yi DongYi Dong
ydong03@syr.edu

Ecology and Ecosystems

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Yanai
Undergraduate Institute: Central South Forestry Uni (Forestry and Related)

Previous Graduate Study: Chinese Academy of Forestry (Forestry and Related)

Whitney Forman-CookWhitney Forman-Cook
wcforman@syr.edu

FRM Forest Ecosystem Science & Appl

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Malmsheimer
Undergraduate Institute: Michigan State University

Veronica GonzalezVeronica Gonzalez
vagonz01@syr.edu

Ecology and Ecosystems

Degree Sought: MPS
Advisor(s): Briggs

Amanda GrayAmanda Gray
aggray@syr.edu

Ecology and Ecosystems

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Briggs
Undergraduate Institute: Christopher Newport University (Environmental Science)

Joshua HansonJoshua Hanson
jwhanson@syr.edu

Ecology and Ecosystems

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Nowak
Undergraduate Institute: Unity College (Forestry and Related)

Personal Statement
My interests primarily lie in manipulative studies that ultimately lead to the development of silvicultural guidelines. Lately however, I have developed an interest in non-native invasive species and their growing impact on forest management.

Graduate Research Topic
Assessing overstory and understory tree species similarity across Pennsylvania, and determining how it varies by forest-type group and ecological section. I am also investigating how factors such as overstory stocking, white-tailed deer herbivory, and the abundance of both non-tree vegetation and tree regeneration in the understory influence this relationship.

Favorite Quote
"Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth." - Henry David Thoreau

Caitlin HomanCaitlin Homan
clhoman@syr.edu

Ecology and Ecosystems

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Beier
Undergraduate Institute: SUNY-ESF (Biology)

Daniel RockefellerDaniel Rockefeller
dmrockef@syr.edu

Ecology and Ecosystems

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Beier

Ashley SimpsonAshley Simpson
arsimpso@syr.edu

Ecology and Ecosystems

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Nyland
Undergraduate Institute: Franklin Pierce College

Adam WildAdam Wild
adwild@syr.edu

Ecology and Ecosystems

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Yanai
Undergraduate Institute: SUNY College Agric Tech Cobleskll

Personal Statement
My interest span across multiple aspects of forest ecosystems and factors that influence plant productivity.

Graduate Research Topic
I am currently studying the health and productivity of sugar maples based on available soil nutrients in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. My research project is striving to determine what nutrients influence the sugar concentration of maple sap and whether maple sap sweetness can be increased by application of calcium, nitrogen, or phosphorus fertilizer in a forest stand.

Favorite Quote
"In the hopes of reaching the moon men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet." -Albert Schweitzer

Yang YangYang Yang
yyang100@syr.edu

Ecology and Ecosystems

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Yanai
Undergraduate Institute: Minzu University of China

Personal Statement
I'm interested in forest-based environmental issues that raised currently. I'm more focused on nutrient cycling in forests and the way to assess the forest health.

Graduate Research Topic
My project is detecting the change in tree tissue chemistry over time in Northern Hardwoods. Research,conducted in Huntington Wildlife Forest,will show a change in concentrations of tree nutrients in different tree components over time and detail the uncertainties of processing long-time detecting studies in tree nutrients..


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